*** SORGEDON’S POV ***
I follow Rhia out through the dark halls and shady worn places. Most of the time I don’t see her, but her aroma guides me up and down the old stairs, different halls, turns right and left. It’s clear, she doesn’t want to be found, but I can’t leave my heart guessing. What if she is my dear sister. My heart aches. Our last meeting was a total disaster. If I only could be able to change the past, I would do it without hesitation. It was wrong. It was pushed by the competition and range, by the fear to lose control and power.
My voice echos in the almost empty hall. Lots of large glass windows are set at the top of this green hall. They tremble at the strength of my voice.
- Rhia! Let’s talk.
This woman is stubborn, just like my sister. It’s was rare times, when she listened my orders. It fuels my hesitation even more. Those glassy blue eyes darted deep into my heart. Here can’t be two the same pairs on this world. Damn, where is she?! I check the shady perimeter of the hall. She can’t be in the middle. It’s almost empty. Only lotus throne rests empty here. It’s guarded by the statues of dragons. Her scent gives away she is still here. I’m used to a silence but this one looks deadly. Chilly creeps my spine, but I finish to prowl through the column row looking for her, not letting my guard down.
I press my spine closer to the wall as I sudden sound breaks the silence. My hand automatically finds the lion’s dagger and wraps it ready for defence. My ears catch only silence, but eyes reach for the light glims. I slink. All what I find is her lying body not far away from the dragon’s tail. I rush towards her. She lays on the ground with closed eyes, heavily breathing. Her palm is wrapped carefully in a fist. My experience tells, it’s helps fight the pain. Other hand’s two straight fingers liger on her perfect lips. I put aside my mask and careful uncover hers, providing her with more air. Her lips catch larger shaky gulp.
I whisper treasuring her name on my tongue. I never thought I would ever meet her again. She survived. She is alive. She is here. I want to touch her, but hesitate for a moment my hand freeze in the air over her body. What if I will break a some kind of spell and this is all is not real. I brush her hair.
- You survived, gorgeous, you are here..
She is unconscious, her body shines. It radiates heat. I have to pull away my hands from her and helplessly follow appearing tattoos. They draw some words in a language I never learned. Some pictures which don’t make any sense.
- Gorgeous, forgive me.. I did it to you. I never had to leave you out there.
I’m on my knees next to her and cry as a kid covered in gloaming and silence. It hurts so much seeing her and I’m incapable to provide help again. I make attempts to touch her, but I am just licked by heat. I punch dragon hard, but it only responds with bruises on my knuckles. All this madness is my fault. I put my bleeding fist in my mouth and roar. I feel only shattering glass in my dead heart. Roar. I roar full opened mouth, throaty. Windows shutter and fell all around us.
- Forgive me, gorgeous. Forgive me.
- I had to die.. on that day..
My eyes lock with hers. Her voice is so weak.
She shushes me with the finger at her lips.
- You did.. the right thing.
- It hurt you. It still hurts you!
She answers nothing, just her fist unwraps and her long fingers slowly reach for me. My fingers lock with her warm ones.
- Gorgeous, it’s not right.
I tug her for a long hug with big relief. Sins, at least she doesn’t hate me. We sit here on a floor turned in a hug-roll and swing together. I lick her healing palms.
- You suffer here. Just look around. It’s not a proper place for my princess.
- It’s a throne hall, silly.
She manages a small smile.
- It’s a torture hall! Those windows are not covered!
She gives me a shy smile. Thought hits me. Sinns!
- You tried to burn yourself!
She shakes her head.
- I chose to live.
- Let’s come back home, gorgeous.
I whisper in her ear stroking her dark hair. She holds to me as to her life.
- You know, I am always yours, gorgeous.
I don’t hide those words from the silence. Clapping of the hands appears behind us. I tug Milly closer. No matter who is behind, I won’t give her away.
- Now I start to know you. Looks like you say that to every woman.
My woman leans against the hall’s wall with the wheel of tears in her eyes. Her hateful words dart sharp as poisoned daggers.
- Rhia, did you sleep with all of them?
I hear hurt in her words. She cares for me and it melts my heart.
- It’s not what you see, beauty.
I feel Milly’s sharp look on my neck after my gentle words.
- That tattoo of yours!
- I can explain.
- You SLEPT with her! You CARE about her!
Her emotions come as a raging storm. She doesn’t register my words.
- You even now don’t deny it! You love her!
My woman flees the throne hall and I stay here, with my past, my guilt, my obligation.
- How did you two meet?
We speak up at the same time. We both share a smile and it lightens the air. Some things time doesn’t change.
- Tonight, during hunting. She was something!
I don’t hide adoration and Milly chuckles.
- I missed your smile.
- You care about her, do you?
- I do. It’s even more, sis.
We breathe in pause.
- It will make things more complicated.
- I know. She is royal and you weren’t with me. I made a choice, Milly.
- Sorgedon, maybe you will change your mind? It was just a night.
Small laugh escapes my lips as I jump on my feet.
- Will you return with me to Black castle?
I pin her with my capturing gaze. She shakes her head.
- That’s my home, Sorgedon.
- So I am taking her with me.
- I am not sure if it is the right time, nor she is ready.
Her words sound demanding. Time or maybe this place changed her. It makes me nervous. I pace the hall’s floor stopping only when I address her.
- I am your King, Milly! It’s my decision. ..And maybe hers to make.
- Sorgedon, how I was presented to you today?
She nods and doesn’t leave my eyes. Instantly I feel hunted. As much I try to show my power, she overshadows me.
- You learned enough to know the meaning.
- That doesn’t legitimise you as a queen! It’s just a name!
She sits confident on her throne. Lotus leaves behind her back turn into flames. As I understand it should be some kind of illusion.
- Sorgedon, make a smart decision.
I am abacked by her tone. She questions her King’s decision?! What is wrong with that woman?
- I do as I say, Milly.
- I am Rhia here and you are in MY house. Estrid stays here as long as she wants.
She arches her eyebrow looking sharp through her long eyelashes. Her blue eyes are converting to dark ones. I can swear, they are burning in shadows. She what?! She threatens me!
- Milly, your place is to support me, make our Kingdom great!
- My duty is to make our bloodline cherishing.
I tower over her, my hands land on each side of her head, our eyes captured. She leans relaxed in her throne with that f*cking weird smirk. Maybe others are scared of her, but she is mine as I am hers. She is not going to win.
- Non of you should live here, gorgeous.
- Brother, after our actions we face the consequences.
Her eyes doesn’t turn to her nail or to the side as mostly would do. They dart hardily into mine. She implies openly.. It can’t be!
- So you still sided with Cymru!
She lets out a short loud blow of air. A warm bubble of air in a ghosty smoke crosses the air. Looks like I made her.. bored? .. tired? .. or angry?. I can’t read her now and it turns my gut.
- Rhia, here you are! It was a warlock’s trap. Good you noticed it so early.
Oh, boy, you didn’t notice it earlier?! My protector’s side screams I failed again. How can I leave her in his hands?! My eyes catch a glimpse of the movement of her fingers. Those rings belonged to warlocks. That bloody pearls on her dress belongs to them as well. She survived. Again. Shiver runs down my spine together with foreboding.
- What is happening here?!
- I made your mother an offer.
Toke’s gaze travels on the shattered glass around us and lands on me.
- I want the woman I saw on a stage, Toke.
- Not happening!
- I will take good care of her.
Milly says nothing as she becomes middle of the scene. Her fingers play slowly on the armchair. Oh, I know her.. She counts a few moves ahead. Damn, Milly! We are one family!
- Toke, your friend is strong, grows his army. He is honest and loyal to his beliefs. Even looks like he knows how to love.
- And you negotiate?! Beyond everything, she is my fiance!
- I am not sure, Toke, you are aware who is your friend.
He faces me. Confusion is written all over his face. His eyes dart from her to me and back. What game does my sister play?
- What do you imply, mother? You what?! You knew each other?!
He snarls. Rhia instead of showing him his place only smiles looking at me.
- Sorgedon, what will you say?
I don’t trust her playful smile and silky note of her voice. I’m not born yesterday. It’s a trap she is leading me into.
- I am Black King.
I try to escape her game. Toke tightens his fists clearly trying to control himself, but for sure he launches on me. Oh, boy, he is well trained, very good, leaves me quick in short breathes and sweaty. I slide off my jacket and leave it flying onto the floor. Just his lack of experience lets me take an upper hand. We slice air jumping hard green walls chasing for a better angle to aim. My lips turn into a small smile, probably visible just for me. Somehow I feel proud about the boy at this moment. He catches me defenseless and his arms tightens under my chin, a kick presses the air out of my lungs. I cut his knee with my sharp heel and roll him over. Tip of my lion’s dagger rests on his chest pointing at the middle of the heart. Rhia stands and starts clapping her hands.
- Entertaining performance, boys! Time to disperse.
She turns to leave, splashing a wave of anger in me.
- You are not going anywhere!
- How will you stop me?
She tries her playful tone with a spice of chalange. It doesn’t hit me, my dare. I know you too well.
- Milly, your son is at my mercy.
- So be merciful!
She laughs. I’m abacked. Why doesn’t she care?!
We share a glance at Toke, who just spoke out.
- He will pay, Milly. It’s better you will consider my offer.
- Mother, you kept my side from the beginning?!
I don’t pay attention to his surprise or moves trying to hurt me. Though I have to agree, he fights smart.
- He is HIS, Milly. Will you let it happen?
I play with her heart. Instead she just blows out air and chuckles circling me. She whispers.
- Before using your dagger, check behind his ear.
I do and Toke hits my head, it spins hard, I have to lean against the wall to stay put on my legs. It can’t be true what I’ve seen.
- Milly, what have you done?!
- We. Sorgedon. We..
I repeat frozen two letters in my head. Toke pins me to the wall. I get punches that break smaller bones with a crack. My eyes blink at a pain.
- Toke. Your FATHER is not a bad guy. Just stubborn and hot headed. I wanted you two to meet under better circumstances.
Father.. I am a father. My flesh and blood. Black.. I inhale sharp and shaky. We have an heir to our bloodline!.. My chest blooms and moves by himself as I am not sure I am still in my mortal body.
- What do you say, mom?!
- You are Black, just like your father and me.
Continue reading chapter 25